IL Songwriters Who Helped Win the Civil War (IL & The Civil War Series)


8/2/2018, 6:30 pm



Books on the Square, 427 E. Washington St. Springfield, IL 62701

Illinois’s military and political contributions to the Civil War are well known, but the state continued to the cause in another, more forgotten way. Christian McWhirter, Research Historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the Editor of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association will explain how the young music firm of Root & Cady in Chicago became one of the most successful and influential sources of wartime songs. With huge hits, like “The Battle Cry of Freedom” and “Marching through Georgia,” this Illinois business and its songwriters not only set the rhythm of the war but endorsed the Union cause and emancipation, swaying popular opinion in the process.

Christian McWhirter is the author of “Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War” (2012).